The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s baby pygmy hippopotamus finally made its big debut today.
The calf was born on Feb. 22 and now is on view with his mother in the Lied Jungle.
The mother hippo or dam, 13-year-old Chomel, is on loan from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The father or sire, Scooby, 22, belongs to the Omaha zoo. He came here from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownville, Texas.
The hippo calf weighed 15 pounds at birth, larger than the average of 12, and now tips the scale at 50 pounds. He’s healthy and a good eater, said Christie Eddie, curator of small mammals. As an adult, he’ll weigh up to 700 pounds.
The calf brings the zoo’s total to four, but he will belong to the Lincoln Park Zoo too.
Pygmy hippos, an endangered species, are native to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. He is an important birth for the species.
There are only 27 pygmy hippos in North American zoos, and males are in short supply. Only three calves have been born in North America in the past two and half years.
— Carol Bicak
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Watch video footage of baby and his mama swimming together. It’s too cute for words.